Retinoic acid inhibits the cytoproliferative response to weak 50‑Hz magnetic fields in neuroblastoma cells

Oncol Rep. 2013 Mar;29(3):885-94. doi: 10.3892/or.2012.2212. Epub 2012 Dec 24.


We previously reported that intermittent exposure to a 50‑Hz magnetic field (MF) at 100 µT stimulates cell proliferation in the human neuroblastoma cell line NB69. The present study aimed to investigate whether the magnetic field-induced growth promotion also occurs at a lower magnetic flux density of 10 µT. To this purpose, NB69 cells were subjected for 42 h to intermittent exposure, 3 h on/3 h off, to a 50‑Hz MF at a 10 or 100 µT magnetic flux density. The field exposure took place either in the presence or in the absence of the antiproliferative agent retinoic acid. At the end of the treatment and/or incubation period, the cell growth was estimated by hemocytometric counting and spectrophotometric analysis of total protein and DNA contents. Potential changes in DNA synthesis were also assessed through proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) immunolabeling. The results confirmed previously reported data that a 42-h exposure to a 50‑Hz sine wave MF at 100 µT promotes cell growth in the NB69 cell line, and showed that 10 µT induces a similar proliferative response. This effect, which was significantly associated and linearly correlated with PCNA expression, was abolished by the presence of retinoic acid in the culture medium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Fields*
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / metabolism
  • Tretinoin / pharmacology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • Tretinoin